MPs: Boeing Deal Binding on US

Under the Iran nuclear deal, the US should allow for the sale of commercial passenger aircraft and related parts and services to Iran
A general view of the Majlis A general view of the Majlis

Lawmakers said the United States is bound by the 2015 nuclear agreement to let a deal for the sale of Boeing passenger aircraft to Iran to go through.

Two years of negotiations between Iran and major powers culminated in the accord in July last year. It went into force six months later to remove sanctions against the Islamic Republic in return for scaling down its nuclear program.

US Republican lawmakers oppose the pact, formally titled the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but most of their attempts to interfere with its full implementation have faced a veto threat by outgoing President Barack Obama, who championed it.

Some senior Republican lawmakers have been campaigning against the sale of Boeing and Airbus jetliners to Iran.

Both aviation giants said in October they had received the US Treasury’s approval to begin exporting over 200 jets to Iran, under the deals struck early this year.

USA Today reported on Thursday that the House of Representatives is preparing to debate legislation that aims to block Washington’s financing for Boeing’s sale of $25 billion worth of planes to Iran.

The news came a day after Republican Donald Trump was announced the new president of the United States.

During his election campaign, Trump criticized the JCPOA as a “disaster” and “the worst deal ever negotiated” and promised to renegotiate it.

  Political Propaganda

Lawmaker Ali Asadi played down Trump’s pledge as campaign rhetoric by saying Trump’s anti-Iran remarks and the Congress’ moves are only political propaganda.

“The United States must act in accordance with the [Boeing] deal and its [JCPOA] commitments to allow the sale of Boeing jets,” he said in an interview with ICANA on Sunday.

JCPOA says, “The United States will … allow for the sale of commercial passenger aircraft and related parts and services to Iran.”

Mohammad Kazemi, another member of parliament, said Americans are trying to justify their ignorance of their obligations under the Boeing deal by claiming that it is totally unrelated to JCPOA.

Valiollah Nanvakenari, a representative of Babolsar and Fereydounkenar, said a US decision to block aircraft deliveries to the Islamic Republic would strike yet another major blow to Washington’s already tarnished international image.

“Based on the agreements, the US is obliged to authorize the sales and failure to do so would be perceived by the world as further evidence that it is an unreliable partner,” he said.

Obama could veto the legislation if Congress sends it to him. It would prohibit US banks from financing the plane sale and would revoke any Treasury Department approval of the sale granted before the legislation is approved.

The bill would “prohibit the secretary of the Treasury from authorizing certain transactions by a US financial institution in connection with the export or reexport of a commercial passenger aircraft to the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

Even if approved in the House, it is unclear whether the legislation could clear the Senate during the lame-duck session of Congress.

It was one of several pieces of legislation that lawmakers crafted in opposition to the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, which opened the door to greater trade.

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